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(This topic is also categorized under Bathrooms)

Repairing A Sink

Fixing a sink should be easy but can be complicated sometimes. Whether your sink repair will be easy or be a nightmare depends on the condition that your hoses and vales are in. Before you begin your project you should stop by your local hardware or home improvement store to pickup replacement parts and plenty of Teflon pipe tape.

In most cases you will be able to turn off the water supply by turning the water valve under the sink a few times clockwise; however, if the valves are very old or haven't been used at all since their installation they may be difficult to turn or they may break (causing a leak). Be prepared by having someone near the main shutoff valve to stop the flow of water should a breakage occur. It's recommended to have them near the shutoff valve with a walkie-talkie or a cell phone so that you can contact them to make sure the water supply is shutoff or to notify if a leak occurs.

Most tract homes have the main shutoff valve in an area covered by a cement lid outside near the curb. The box should have a rectangular hole in the top which you can insert your finger or a rod into to lift the lid from the box.

Houses in rural areas often have an exterior assembly where you can shutoff the water supply; such as a well house. Locate your main water supply shutoff valves before starting your sink repair or any plumbing project for that matter.

Once you have the water supply shutoff you should place towels under the sink as well as have a container nearby. Even though the pipes are shutoff there is still a small amount of water in them that may spill out. Be ready with the container to catch the water that spills out.

As soon as you have the excess water taken care you begin by removing the connectors. The connector types used vary quite a bit but are usually brass nuts or small clamps. You should then examine all of your hoses and valves replacing ones that are no longer in good condition as needed.

In some cases older valves may need to be removed by cutting with a hacksaw. If you run into these cases or valves that have been welded on you should replace them with threaded connectors. Be sure to leave enough pipe to rethread with a pipe threading tool. You may want to call a plumber at this point as things can be complicated.

Calcium buildup on valves that are a several years old is normal and may make it difficult to turn nuts and connectors. A few sharp twists usually will free the stuck piece but be careful as you could cause the pipe to break causing a major problem you will need a plumber for.

Once you have all the parts removed clean the pipes and new connectors using a fine grit sand paper. Once the components have been cleaned wrap the threads with several wraps of plumbers tape. When wrapping pipes be sure to wrap in the direction that the pipe or valve will be turned. The point here is to tighten the tape when connecting the piece rather than loosen it.

Once you have the components wrapped with tape screw on the valve, attach the hose and tighten any clamps that you may have but don't over tighten them. You want them snug but not as tight as you can get them.

Slowly turn the valve on and check for leaks. If you've done the repair properly you will not have any leaks. It may take you two or three attempts to get the pipe wrapped and snugged properly. This is normal so don't get frustrated if it doesn't work correctly the first time. You should not have to replace these components more than once every few years so fret not.

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